Everyone once in a while a figure comes along that you can't pass up. In my case it happens fairly regularly. But sometimes a figure comes along that I really can't pass up. This time, it was:
I've already talked about how anthropomorphized sharks are one of "my things". I'm a sucker for a shark man. Well, apparently that carries over into whales too, because when I first saw pics of this Mechawhales figure, I had to have it. Sure, there's way more sharks that I'm into than whales, but if I had to choose a whale to have a figure of, it would be a sperm whale. Sperm whales are pretty weird looking with their big fat heads and little mouths, and I guess that's what I like!
Mechawhales was created by Hauke Scheer, with the figures being made by German toy company Deep Fried Figures. In the future the Earth is at war with alien invaders, and humans have joined forces with intelligent psychic whales to battle the alien threat. These whales pilot hi-tech mech suits to take to the land and skies to help repel the alien menace. So far this "Infantry Whale" is the only figure that's been released, but the Mechawhales website shows a list of other characters that could come out down the line. I for one would love the orca Commando Whale and narwhal Scout Whale in figure form. There are also alien and human characters that would make great additions to the line.
The Infantry Whale's bio states that they are the most common type of Mechawhale, so it makes sense that they would be the first figure we get. Overall it's a nice chunky figure that isn't overly articulated (it only has shoulder and wrist joints), but it's loaded with details. Even after all the pics I took of the figure, I kept finding new details I wanted to highlight. Strangely, there is one detail that's missing from the figure: a blowhole. The jaw of this sperm whale is much wider than it would be on a real one, but somehow I can forgive that as an artistic flair. The lack of a blowhole bugs a little bit, though I'm not really sure why. It just seems like an easy detail to include, and I can't unsee that it's not there. Otherwise the figure is super-detailed and I can't find too much else to complain about.
This whale has clearly seen some battles, and he's got some gnarly facial scars to prove it. Whether they're from the dangers of typical undersea life or from invading alien hordes, who can say? He's got a long one across his right eye that makes him look tough. Vertical eye scars tend to do that. Luckily he's also armed to teeth (which unlike some whales, this guy actually has). He's got shoulder and wrist mounted rockets, mini-guns mounted on the lower part of his mech and his wrists, and two small cannons just below his big fat head.
The mech itself reminds me of some of those heavily armored enemies from the various Mega Man games. I can picture it being a heavy and slow moving thing when it walks, but it can jet forward in small bursts. And I like how the whale is just kind of slung in there and secured with clamps. It looks like he could jump in the water and release himself for stealthy underwater missions. The Infantry Whale's bio says that they secretly feel claustrophobic in their mech suits, but I can imagine them being able to release themselves when they need to.
A small cardboard background scene is included in the box, and while I'm sure it's just to add some flair to the packaging, it's fully removable and I plan on keeping it for display purposes. The style of the art (on both this background and on the website) has a real Super Nintendo feel to it, and I could easily see this concept working as a video game.
The higher price tag on these figures will mean they're not for everyone, but I would like to support this line for as long as I can. There are a lot of possibilities for future figures with the various types of whales, aliens, and humans. These are high quality figures that you can't just find in any store. I got mine online from Big Bad Toy Store, and I think there are a few other sites where these guys are available. I can't imagine the Mechawhales will be in everyones collections, so they would make a fine standout on the display shelf.
Even if they don't do human figures, there are lots of tiny army men toys out there that can do the trick!